Hyderabad: Bowing to pressure from students and pro-Telangana groups, the Andhra Pradesh government on Friday postponed a recruitment test for sub-inspectors of police.
A day after protests and violence rocked Osmania University here on the issue, Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy told reporters that the government was postponing the written test, scheduled to be held on Dec 18 and 19, in view of the situation.
She said the test would be conducted after peace is restored in the state and appealed to protesting groups to cooperate with the government in the recruitment process.
Following her announcement, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti withdrew the call for Telangana shutdown Saturday while celebrations replaced the tense situation in Osmania University campus here.
Terming it a victory of Telangana, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of students took out a rally in the campus, raising slogans of "Jai Telangana", distributing sweets and dancing to the beat of drums. Similar scenes were witnessed at Kakatiya University in Warangal, Palamuru University in Mahabubnagar and other universities in Telangana.
However, the government`s announcement angered student groups in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. Protests broke out at Andhra University in Visakhapatnam as the Andhra JAC accused the government of taking a u-turn on the issue under pressure from some leaders from Telangana.
Students of Sri Venkateshwara University in Tirupati and Srikrishnadevaraya University in Anantapur boycotted their classes and staged anti-government protests.
Earlier, tension prevailed at Osmania University campus here following overnight violence and police firing.
Protesting the arrest of their leaders, students staged a protest at the police station on the campus Friday. The protesters were arrested.
Additional forces, including the paramilitary Rapid Action Force (RAF), were deployed at the campus to maintain law and order.
Educational institutions remained closed in parts of Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana on a call given by the JAC to protest the police action.
Police Thursday night fired rubber bullets and teargas shells to disperse students who indulged in violence, damaging buses and shops in Tarnaka, Habsiguda and other areas surrounding the campus.
One person was injured when the police fired rubber bullets. Earlier, five students sustained injuries in the clash with police.
The violence broke out when students tried to take out a rally to protest the government`s denial of their demand for postponing the written examination for recruitment of sub-inspectors of police in Telangana till the issue of Hyderabad as a free zone is resolved.
Chief Minister K. Rosaiah Thursday evening rejected the demand but clarified that the posts in Hyderabad would not be filled till the central government takes a decision on amending the presidential order.
Rosaiah made it clear that the exam for recruitment in four other districts of Telangana would be conducted as scheduled.
Pro-Telangana parties had demanded that the exam be postponed as this would deny jobs to locals in Hyderabad. They wanted the government to reserve the jobs for locals as is being done in the rest of Telangana.
The Supreme Court had last year declared Hyderabad a free zone, where people from other regions of the state can also get government jobs.
The parties fighting for separate statehood to Telangana alleged that this was a violation of the assurances given to the people of the region at the time of its merger with the then Andhra state in 1956 to form Andhra Pradesh.
The issue has heated up at a time when the Srikrishna committee constituted by the central government is preparing its report on the issue of separate Telangana. The report is to be submitted to the central government by Dec 31.